ROWBURY COMPLETES DISTANCE DOUBLE AT USA INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
By David Monti and Chris Lotsbom, @d9monti and @ChrisLotsbom
(01-Mar) — Running a savvy race off of a slow early pace, Shannon
Rowbury won her second national indoor title in as many days, winning
the two-mile on the final day of the USA Indoor Track & Field
Championships here at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Facility at
Roxbury Community College.
Rowbury, who won the mile yesterday,
stayed tucked in the big pack of 17 women during the early stages of
the race, trying to save energy. Suffering from a cold, she knew she
only had so much lung power for the final laps.
having a cold since Birmingham (Feb. 21), before Birmingham,” Rowbury
told reporters. “Last night I was pretty stuffed-up in my nose. This
morning, not so great. Warming up, I felt kind of flat. I knew it was
going to be tough out there.”
The pack went through the first
mile in a sluggish 5:08.5 led by New Balance’s Liz Costello. But just
moment’s later, Rowbury’s Nike Oregon Project teammate, Jordan Hasay,
came up from the field, went into the lead and picked up the pace.
Costello followed, as did Brooks Beasts’ Amanda Mergaert and Rowbury,
who sensed that the real race was beginning.
“I was set to
share the lead with Jordan at the end,” Rowbury explained. “She just
kept accelerating and accelerating, so I owe a lot to her for the race
turning out so well for me.”
Hasay hit the 1 & ¾ mark in
8:41.0, with Rowbury on her tail, and the two women quickly left the
field behind them. Rowbury waited for the final lap where she came on
the outside of Hasay on the backstretch, then swung around her teammate
at the top of the homestretch. Hasay, a 10,000m runner, simply couldn’t
match Rowbury’s superior speed; she ran the last lap in 30.6 seconds.
Hasay finished second in 9:44.69.
“Honestly, second for me
today was going to be winning because she is running so well right
now,” Hasay said of Rowbury. “Obviously she’s undefeated in the U.S.
this year. I just tried to pretend it was a workout, I’m lucky enough
that she is my training partner.”
With her victory today,
Rowbury becomes the fifth American woman to win the mile and two mile
(or 1500m and 3000m) at the same national indoor championships, joining
Jenny Simpson, Regina Jacobs, Jan Merill and Francie Larrieu.
AMERICAN 600M RECORD FOR LOXSOM; WILSON FALLS
the men’s 600m, former Penn State star Casimir Loxsom was a man on a
mission. Running on the same track where he set records in high school,
Loxsom rocketed away from the field from the gun, and blasted to a solo
victory in 1:15.33, breaking his own American record and clocking the
#4 mark of all time.
“It feels awesome,” said Loxsom after
winning his first national title. “I think the title means a lot more
than the time to me. I think on a perfect day with no rounds, I could
take a shot at the world record. We’ll look at that in coming years.”
Montano was the surprise winner of the 600m national crown, the first
indoor title of her career. Only six months after giving birth to her
baby girl Linnea, Montano toed the line here in what was her third race
since becoming a mother last August.
From the gun, Montano and
pre-race favorite Ajee’ Wilson took their routine positions up front,
hitting the 200 meters within a step of one another. It was 50 meters
later that the race would change dramatically, with Wilson falling to
the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center’s blue track with her
hopes of a national crown dashed.
Hit from behind, fellow
competitor Kendra Chambers’s momentum carried her forward mid-stride,
accidentally clipping Wilson’s heels. Wilson, Chambers, and Bethany
Praska came crashing down to the track surface together, all the while
Montano increased her lead out front.
“It’s part of racing,”
said a visibly dejected Wilson. She had only been tripped once prior in
her career, back when she was 9-years-old. “I was ready to run, ready
to compete. Stuff happens, things happen. You jut got to get up, brush
it off and keep going.”
Wilson would get up and finish the race
last in 1:39.39, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd. Chambers
would also finish, a gruesome spike wound on the inside of her thigh
serving as a battle scar from these Championships.
the race belonged to Montano, who extended her lead over Phoebe Wright
in the final lap. Breaking the tape in 1:26.59, Montano was the winner
by more than a second.
“I was hoping, that it would be Ajee’
and I going at it,” Montano told reporters. “It was really
disappointing to hear the crash. I definitely had the feeling that it
was a game-changer. I looked up [at the big screen] and didn’t see the
blue uniform. To be honest, I was like, oh well.”
1000M WINS FOR ANDREWS AND WALLACE
took a quick surge and even faster kick for Robby Andrews to claim his
first U.S. Indoor title, winning the 1000m here in 2:21.19. The
23-year-old from Manalapan, N.J., felt right in his comfort zone
striking in the race’s final 100 meters off of a slow early pace,
powering by New Jersey/New York Track Club teammates Kyle Merber and
“That’s how I like it,” said Andrews of the slow
start with a fast finish. “If they’re going to let me get out front,
that’s what I’m going to do. You know, I got a little lucky at the end,
but I think I timed it just right.”
Andrews adds a national
indoor title to his already impressive resume, which includes a gold
medal from the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships (800m) and a bronze from
the 2010 IAAF World Junior Championships 800m.
In the women’s
5-lap race, the look on Lauren Wallace’s face after she crossed the
finish line was one of shock and awe. Moments before television cameras
caught Wallace’s reaction, the 26-year-old had held her ground in the
inside lane while three competitors did their absolute hardest to catch
the Oiselle-sponsored athlete.
Before these Championships,
Wallace worked on not swinging wide around the banked corners, knowing
the closer to the rail she was, the better her finish would be. She
executed her strategy to perfection, gaining an ever so slight
advantage coming down the final straightaway. She edged Treniere Moser
and Stephanie Brown by 2/10ths of a second in 2:40.42, claiming her
first national title.
“Last night when I was going over my race
plan, I just decided to stay comfortable in lane one. I knew there
would be a gap opening up. I just too advantage of the gap, just really
gave it my all the last 50 meters.”
CENTRO MASTERS THE MILE
and experience was a virtue for Matthew Centrowitz in the men’s mile.
The 13-man field was so tightly bunched that competitors couldn’t help
but exchange elbows and shoves, all the while Centrowitz sat calm and
“There was more elbowing than there was
actual forward running!” described Nike Oregon Track Club’s Pat Casey
with a laugh. “It was chaos. I mean, I think we all knew it was going
to be something like that.”
Aware that the race was going to be
physical and a chess match, Centrowitz’s strategy was to wait until
three laps remained before making any bold moves. As Casey and Ben
Blankenship did a majority of the front running, Centrowitz sat
comfortably behind. Striking with 400 to go, the University of Oregon
alum took the pole and never looked back.
Celebrating with outstretched hands, Centrowitz broke the tape in 4:01.40 to secure his first national indoor title.
mile/1500m racing is so much harder than outdoors,” said Centrowitz, a
gold medal draped around his neck. “That being said, that’s why I like
indoor racing. If I can run well tactically indoors –not that it’s a
lot easier [outdoors]– but it is easier outdoors, so this is
definitely going to give me confidence going into the U.S. Outdoor
Championships and the World Championships if I qualify.”
Shannon Rowbury after winning the two-mile national title at the 2015
USA Indoor Championships in Boston (photo by Jane Monti for Race